Gerry Holtham: The Struggle for Wales’ Youth
In December, Professor Gerry Holtham stepped down as an IWA Trustee after nearly twenty years. We hope that you’re able to join us to hear the thoughts of one of the evergreens of Welsh public life as he seeks to balance the inter-generational books.
Wales has the highest median age in the UK and in 20 years 1 in 4 of the population will be over 65.
This figure reflects the fact that educated, young people are leaving in their tens of thousands resulting in Wales facing the lowest retention rates – with regards to both the proportion of students studying and staying to find work – than any other UK nation.
Facing less secure work and high house prices – especially in coastal areas – it could be argued that young people today in Wales are less well-off relative to their elders than any generation since WWII.
This calls for a radical reorientation of public policy to favour the young.
Some of the ideas that we must consider include:
- Free tertiary education for all students who are resident in Wales or who remain and work in Wales for five years post graduation.
- Free or concessionary public transport for the young, while limiting free travel to those over 70 years old.
- A large and compulsory increase in council tax on second homes and no stamp duty on first-home purchase by people under 30.
The session will be chaired by IWA Director, Auriol Miller, and attendees will be able to ask questions.